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Rear-end collisions are not always harmless fender benders. For some, being involved in a rear-end crash can result in severe injuries, high medical expenses, and wage losses. Since Florida is a no-fault state, victims can usually receive a settlement from their own insurer. However, if you got significantly hurt and incurred high damages, your personal injury protection insurance (PIP) is unlikely to compensate you adequately.
Expenses can add up quickly and may exceed your coverage. However, you could have other options to recover what you deserve, such as filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party or insurer. Our experienced car accident lawyers could help you secure the settlement you deserve if you got hurt in a rear-end accident. Contact us today to determine if you have a case and qualify for compensation.
Causes of Rear-End Collisions in Fort Lauderdale
South Florida is becoming increasingly popular with those looking to move into the state, seasonal visitors, and spring breakers. Therefore, traffic can be heavy at times. There can be various reasons for rear-end collisions in Fort Lauderdale, such as stop-and-go traffic or texting while driving. Moreover, the rainy and stormy weather frequently experienced during the summer can lead to low visibility and dangerous road conditions. Other causes for rear-end accidents in Fort Lauderdale include:
- Drunk driving
- Driving distracted or fatigued
- Driving generally recklessly
According to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), most accidents happen for driver-related reasons. If another driver caused your rear-end collision, for example, by speeding or driving intoxicated, they are most likely at fault for your accident. You may be entitled to compensation.
Common Injuries in Rear-End Accidents
Rear-end accidents occurring in slow-moving urban traffic may only cause car damage or minor injuries. However, if rear-end crashes happen at high speed, they can be just as deadly and devastating as other types of accidents.
According to the Mayo Clinic, neck injuries such as whiplash can occur with the rapid back-and-forth motion of the head that usually happens during rear-end accidents. More severe and even life-changing injuries are also possible, including:
- Back injuries such as fractured or herniated discs
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injury and paralysis
- Severed limbs
- Broken ribs and other bone fractures
- Injuries from airbags and seatbelts
- Internal bleeding and internal organ damage
Emotional injuries, such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), could also develop after a serious accident. Moreover, the aftermath of an accident, such as facing steep medical bills, painful therapies, and income loss, can also contribute to the mental stress and anguish of victims.
If you are seriously injured and do not know where to turn, Morgan & Morgan has your back. We understand what you are going through. Our compassionate legal team members are here for you and can advise you on your next best steps in a free consultation.
Who Is At-Fault in a Rear-End Collision?
In most rear-end crashes, the driver in the back is at fault. However, there can be exceptions. For example, if the driver in front suddenly slams on the brakes or fails to indicate before stopping, they could be partially at fault for the collision. Instances where the driver in front is at fault or fault is unclear can include:
- A rear-ended vehicle was pushed into the car in front
- The rear-ended car had broken brake lights
- The driver in front reversed and hit the car in the back
Rear-end collisions can be tricky to understand, especially if they involve several cars.
If the fault for the accident is unclear, our car accident lawyers can analyze a crash and determine the party or parties responsible.
Florida’s No-Fault Insurance Law
According to Florida Statute 627.7407, every driver must have personal injury protection insurance (PIP). PIP will pay covered medical expenses for any injuries suffered in a rear-end collision, regardless of who is at fault. The policy generally covers not only the policyholders but all car occupants affected by the accident. Therefore, if you experience a crash, contact your insurance company as soon as possible for help.
However, drivers are only required to carry the minimum $10,000 coverage in PIP insurance. Therefore, PIP generally does not offer enough coverage for victims with severe injuries who might be facing ongoing medical treatments and expenses, income loss, and other significant costs. If you got badly hurt, getting legal advice as soon as possible after an accident can help you get clear on your options. A car accident lawyer can file a claim against the at-fault party or their insurance company.
How Can Morgan & Morgan Help Me?
The process of recovering compensation for your injuries can be lengthy, frustrating, and exhausting. However, with the largest personal injury firm in America by your side, you can concentrate on your recovery while we handle all legal aspects of your case. We can:
- Help you get adequate medical help
- Deal with all the legal paperwork
- Gather evidence to prove and build your case against the responsible party
- Calculate and prove your damages
- Communicate with the insurance company
- Negotiate a fair out-of-court settlement
- Fight vigorously for maximum compensation at trial
Morgan & Morgan’s car accident lawyers have been helping victims and their families for decades. We are ready to fight for what you deserve. Our fee is free unless we win and you receive a settlement.
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What Should I Do at a Rear-End Accident Scene?
The most important thing to remember at any accident scene is to stay put until emergency services arrive. Driving away from an accident is generally illegal in Florida. Your next best steps can include:
Call the Police
Dialing 911 to call the police and ask for emergency medical help is particularly crucial if there are any injured individuals at the accident scene. Contacting law enforcement also ensures that an officer will write a police report, which can be a critical piece of evidence.
Collect Other Drivers’ Contact Details
An accident scene can be chaotic, upsetting, and frightening. However, remember to ask the other drivers involved in the crash their names, contact details, and car insurance information before leaving the area. If there are any witnesses to the accident, ensure to ask them for their contact details, as witness statements can be essential for proving your case.
Remove Personal Items From the Vehicle
Remember to take all your belongings and valuables from the car before leaving the accident scene. If you are too badly hurt, ask another person or police officer to remove your items. Your car may get towed, and you could lose your phone, computer, purse, and any other items left in the vehicle.
Gathering evidence at the accident scene is crucial if someone else caused the accident and you are hoping to recover damages later on. Take as many pictures of the accident scene and vehicle damage as you can. Accident reconstruction professionals may be able to use your photographs to piece back together the events leading to the rear-end accident.
What Not to Do at the Accident Scene
Knowing what not to do is just as important as knowing what to do to protect your legal rights at the accident scene. Although emotions and frustrations may run high, try not to argue with the other drivers. It is best only to restrict communication to the exchange of contact details and insurance information. Remember that anything you say or do could later be used against you. Therefore, it is essential not to apologize or make any comments that could be construed as admitting fault.
My Loved One Died in a Rear-End Collision; Could I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
If your loved one died in a rear-end crash, filing a wrongful death lawsuit allows you to receive compensation for damages such as loss of companionship, loss of income and benefits from your loved one, and others. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit can also help you find closure by holding the at-fault party accountable for their actions.
In Florida, the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate typically files a wrongful death claim on behalf of the surviving family members, such as the spouse, children, siblings, or parents. In most cases, a wrongful death lawsuit in Fort Lauderdale must be filed within two years of the death. Our compassionate car accident attorneys can assist you with all aspects of a wrongful death lawsuit.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Rear-End Crash?
If there are no injuries and you only have minor car damage, you might not need the help of an attorney. However, in most circumstances, getting legal advice and support as soon as possible after an accident can help to protect your rights. You should consider seeking legal advice if:
- Your injury is significant, disabling, or life-changing
- Medical costs, wage losses, and other damages are high
- You are partially at fault for the rear-end crash
- A loved one died due to their car accident injuries
- You are unable to receive what you deserve with an insurance claim
Our experienced car accident attorneys want you to have the best shot at getting what you deserve if you suffer significant injuries and financial losses in a rear-end crash. They can work tirelessly to fight for the compensation you need to put your life back together.
What Is My Rear-End Crash Worth?
The worth of your rear-end accident case will depend on several factors, including your medical costs and estimated future healthcare expenses. Other facts that can determine the size of a potential settlement include:
- The severity of your injuries
- Whether you will be permanently disabled
- Your wage losses and expected future income losses
- Insurance coverage of the at-fault party
- Your out-of-pocket expenses
- Your degree of pain and suffering due to the accident
Compensation You Could Recover
A severe accident can lead to life-changing injuries and astronomical long-term medical expenses. If another party is responsible for causing the accident, you should not have to carry the financial burden alone and could be entitled to awards for:
- Lost income
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation therapies
- Future medical bills
- Emotional trauma
- Physical pain and anguish
- Loss of life enjoyment
It is important to note that every accident case is unique, and available damages will depend on the circumstances of the accident. An attorney from Morgan & Morgan can clarify what you could be entitled to after a rear-end accident.
When Should I File a Rear-End Accident Case in Fort Lauderdale?
Under Florida’s Statute of Limitations § 95.11, victims can generally file a personal injury lawsuit within four years of the accident. The time starts running down on the day of your accident. Filing within the state deadline can be crucial for recovering what you deserve, as missing the filing deadline could leave you unable to file a lawsuit and pursue compensation.
However, filing a lawsuit too soon could lead to leaving money on the table. If you are still recovering from your injuries, it can be challenging to know your future expected medical treatments and expenses. If you settle too early without knowing the full scope of your injuries and financial losses, you could later be out of pocket. A car accident attorney at Morgan & Morgan can help you determine the best time for filing a lawsuit to maximize your chances of achieving the best possible outcome of your case.
Our Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorneys Fight Hard for You
Recovering what you need to put your life back on track after a serious rear-end collision can be a struggle. You may have to fight with insurance companies reluctant to pay out what you deserve and need to get your life back on track. However, you do not have to deal with everything on your own. Having Morgan & Morgan on your side enables you to focus on healing while our attorneys are determined to recover an adequate settlement on your behalf. Contact us now for free legal advice and help with your rear-end accident.